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Grateful Dead Live at Roanoke Civic Center on 1974-07-27

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Grateful Dead Live at Roanoke Civic Center on 1974-07-27

Topics Live concert

Bertha, Mexicali Blues, Row Jimmy, Jack Straw, Mississippi Half Step-> It Must Have Been The Roses, Me And Bobby McGee, Tennessee Jed, Playin' In The Band Phil & Ned*, China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, Me & My Uncle, Ramble On Rose, Big River, U.S. Blues-> Promised Land, Brokedown Palace, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Johnny B. Goode, E: Eyes Of The World

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Roanoke Civic Center
Location Roanoke, VA

Source Soundboard
Lineage SBD> MR> C> DAT> CDR
Taped by
Transferred by


SBD> MR> C> DAT> CDR; via Seth Kaplan


Reviewer: fishnwhistle - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 13, 2015
Subject: My First Show
Been hooked since
Reviewer: scpaul - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 19, 2014
Subject: Roanoke was great, if you were there
I love this show. I was there and I was enjoying every minute. I also recorded it and listened to it a lot on my cassettes. THe US blues >JEt was a freak out if you were there and of course had never heard anything like this before. Just imagine being a dead head for two years and 20 shows and hearing this come out of the blue, like a new China cat Rider or Scarlet Fire. the Bobby Mcgee was great as was the Miss 1/2 step. But the real thing that zinged your mind was Jerry spacey jam in the middle of Playing. If you were where I was in the front of his stack of speakers you would have heard him short circuit like a blown 50 watt amp and turn into a brain splitting alchemist. I'm not sure how else to word it but listen carefully to the Playing jam and listen for the middle jam and you'll hear jerry short circuit. IT WAS GREAT!!Drove home that night back to Washington DC along Skyline Drive. What a night!Oh the Playing Jam freaks at around the 17:00 point if you were zoned and following this, it was like Jerry was tickling your brain.
Reviewer: AoxoMoxo - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 18, 2013
Subject: Donna was there
I was at this show, my brother and I got a friend to drive us from VA Tech, and Donna was there because I distinctly remember her singing on Row Jimmy (you can listen for yourself).
I also remember Phil Lesh doing the Drums/Space thing at intermissio. Can't vouch for the so called encore (Eyes of the World)as our ride had to leave while the band played the last two numbers, he was a tad worn out after hours of listening to music he didn't quite get (He was a Jethro Tull fan).
Reviewer: PeteDavis - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 22, 2012
Subject: No Eyes Never Was
This was a weird event-the band was somewhat scared of the crowd which was yelling at them the whole time. In retrospect it's an interesting show for sure and who says you can't go back. There was no encore at this concert-the eyes thing is an error perpetuated through the years starting with deadbase. The Dead left after Johnny B Goode and I think they were glad to get out.
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2011
Subject: U.S. Blues>Jam
this show is pretty nice. some very good moments for sure, though not as well played as a lot of other summer '74 shows. certainly a far cry from the big boys of July, 7-19 and 7-31, or even the sweet, somewhat overlooked 7-29 show.

but the U.S. Blues>Jam is not to be missed. though not perfectly executed (it sounds like at least half the band wasn't expecting it!) once it hits its stride it gets REALLY, REALLY hot. ooowww!
Reviewer: gdtimer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 15, 2010
Subject: sweet
man i wish my wife could hear it the same way!!!!
Reviewer: BIG_R - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2010
Subject: 7-27-74
A decent show but there are a whole lot better from '74.(IMO) show. A good recording too. I agree with the guy belowme. It doesn't sound fast too me.
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live On Stage" July 27, 1974 at the Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, VA, U.S.A.


This show doesn't sound fast to me at all, it sounds just fine...hmmm

For easy streaming and downloading, users of Windows XP should be viewing this web-page with RealPlayer.

5 stars for the mix
5 stars for the recording
5 stars for the performance

Hey, just a footnote, WMP (Windows Media Player) lets you control the speed of the song you are playing.

I recommend adding this show to your 1974 GRATEFUL DEAD collection.

Eat, Drink, Be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the Love, from the summer of 74.

PS: Here's one way to download this show:

The IA recommends users of Windows XP view this web-page with RealPlayer.

RealPlayer is a free media player you can download at

Using RealPlayer to view this webpage, click the VBR M3U link to open the songs in the Playlist. If your Playlist is not open, open it by clicking the Playlist icon at the lower right hand corner of RealPlayer.

Once the songs are in the Playlist, double click the song to play it, then click the record button at the lower left hand corner of Realplayer to record it.

When the red line reaches the other end click the stop button to download the song. Your song is in the RealPlayer Downloads folder.

Repeat these steps for each song.
Reviewer: jerlouvis - - June 30, 2009
Subject: what show are you people listening to?
This entire show from start to finish is awful.Each and every song is screwed up in one way or another,foget the words,off-key singing,off timing,can't get the right guitar sound,you name it they did it.They are so lost the whole night it is palpable,just look at the set list.After that 26 minute lifeless Playin' they realized they didn't have it that night.
Reviewer: TeaBag69 - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 15, 2009
Subject: Disappointing
Despite the novel written below I think anyone would agree this is a very average show for 974. And granted, I was not there, and often the live experience did not translate to the tape - which is why I go nuts seeing these "Deadheads" wrote show reviews on this site amd they never even saw the band, they go strictly by tapes, which is absurd in any case, but esepcially so with the Grateful Dead.

For those needing all of 1974 obviously grab this, otehrise I could recommend 10-15 shows from that year before this without even trying very hard. The Cap Centre shpw 7/29 and Chicago 7/25 are both much better, as is of course Louisville 6/18, Winterland 10/16, 2/22, 2/23, 2/24, Missoula, etc.

The biggest and obvious issue with this recording is it is missing the rare Eyes encore.
Reviewer: swinnies - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 2, 2009
Subject: Rockin Pairs
7/27/74: Roanoke Virginia, 1974. The cool thing about the grateful dead is that they played everywhere, in big and small venues and big and small cities around the US and abroad. The small city of Roanoke, VA nestled in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains provided a beautiful scene for a Saturday night show. This area of Virginia has always been more laid back and mellower than its counterpart of Richmond. Where Richmond had tobacco and big companies like RJ Reynolds, Roanoke had farm boys and small shopkeepers. When the dead showed up to play, they picked up on this mellow vibe and blew into the first set with a cool flavor that would leave the most seasoned tobacco smoker with a buzz.
They jump into the first set with an intro which leaves you thinking of a TLEO opener, but quickly you realize bertha has the rightful place in the first spot. This is nicely played, and listening to the soundboard I still can’t believe the high quality boards that are available, and this show has some great sound to start out. Bertha is flawlessly played, and it’s the same as some 77’s, but they give it a little twists that make this version o’ so cool. Mexicali Blues has bobby singing on point, and is a solid version, nothing really to speak of, but the row jimmy is where it’s at. What a slow, killer version that hits the spot. Jerry’s voice is really sweet man, and the band seemingly realizes it has all night to play to this audience, because they just groove to the finish. Jack Straw is good too. By July of 74 coming off the famous Selland Arena show on the 19th, they are still in the hot zone, and while this show does not provide a “monster” second set, this is a solid show with a lot of pairs like china >rider and us blues > promised later on in the show.
Half-Step is a nice sparkly version, and before Franklin’s became the step-brother of Half-Step in the late 70’s and early 80’s, in July of 74’ they tried to pair Half-Step > Roses. This combo does not last too long but it works pretty well here. Bobby Mcgee is a good version, with some nice jamming in the middle, a feel- good first set tune. Tennessee Jed is a decent version it starts out slow but it doesn’t drop off the rest of the first set because of some nice play between keith and phil. Jerry catches on and fires this jed out towards the end with some good flavor. PITB settles in with an immediate impact. They light the fire under the belly after the second verse with kieth tapping some nice keys leading bobby into the third verse with a charge. The instrumental starts out like a rocket ship taking off into outer space when kreutz’ drums give a rap-tap-tap, and continues going skyward. They do their own thing for a few minutes then come together for some tight jamming, then go back into their own directions. They let Kreutz get into the mix quite a bit, he takes over for a few minutes. Kreutz is really driving this PITB then keith takes over at about the 8- minute mark. But kreutz really is rocking out on this PITB and really wants to take this in his own direction and really is overshadowing everyone else here. A really cool little instrumental by the boys at the 11 minute mark, then they space it out. They do some crazy 74 stuff until they charge into the final verse and ends around 24 minutes. Good ending to set #1.
Set #2 opens with a china > rider that does not disappoint! Whatever they smoked during setbreak worked because this is one of the best china > rider’s of the year. China is played just tight as can be and it really jams hard. The band keeps a thick groove while jerry takes the guitar to distant lands, and the cruise ship docks from china to rider in spectacular fashion. Just sickness. Rider picks up where china leaves off with instrumentals firing on all cylinders. Roanoke was in for a shocker second set if this is how is was gonna be. Even MAMU was fantastic, with some sweet taps by keith. Bobby shows some intensity and emotion in singing the verses, which keep the energy level higher than the blue ridge mountains themselves. And we “HIGH TAILED IT” down to Mexico!!! A decent but not spectacular ramble on rose keeps things moving along fast paced, and another typical first set song big river is played very well. Keith is good on the keys, and provides some nice low-note handiworks in the first verse, then switches to some nice high key riffs in the second jam. Us Blues > promised provides a nice little one-two punch that sends roanoke to its knees like a mike tyson combo. It sounds like they are going into us blues once again, but they take it nicely into promised, one excited extended jam! Holy moly! This sounds like a 1990 show with the stuff they are doing. This is absolutely insane stuff. The setlist should say us blues>fucking sick jam>promised land. A solid brokedown follows and a really nice trifecta of Not Fade Away > Goin' Down the Road Feeling Bad > Johnny B. Goode finishes the gig. They do some nice experimentation in NFA, and slip into GDTRFB which leaves you melting like butter on hot bread. the JBG winds it up with some nice cool riffs that slowly brings the city of roanoke back to planet earth....there is an 'eyes' encore which is not available, and by listening of this show, i'm sure that topped off this incredible 74 summer show...but we'll never know!!! have a good listen!!
Reviewer: Chris U. - - January 5, 2008
Subject: Not quite The Chipmunks ...
... but I'll eat my stash if this isn't sped up by 5-10%.

Seems like a nice show otherwise but I'll not rate it yet.
Reviewer: SteveMaruti - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 4, 2008
Subject: I Was There
Donna was there...she had some stomach problem said to be from something she ate, so she didn't sing much. It was a great show, though, with the Wall of Sound. When it was over, Ramrod kept tellin' us to leave as the crew took down the Wall...last audience members there...we finally did!
Reviewer: coldironshackles - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 2, 2007
Subject: pretty good (It is the dead, afterall...)
Despite numerous highlights (mostly instrumental, though some vocal as well), I thought the show started a bit sloppy and though it certainly picked up, it remained somewhat unrefined compared to many '74-'77 shows I have heard. The band did have lots of energy, but they usually did back then. I think that tighter vocals would put it at a 4 (I wanted to rate it 3.5). Maybe some of it was at a rushed tempo, but I did not hear the fast tape speed previously mentioned. Still, a good listen and I was at the mid-80s Roanoke shows, so I had to check it out!
Reviewer: JamminJerome - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2007
Subject: If this isn't 5 stars, then what is?
Every song is so solid in this show. The boys are on without a doubt - jazzy, funky, and liquid. Lots of original playing here. They explore lands rarely explored. Need an example? Check out the US Blues>Promised Land! Or Half-Step>IMHBTR! Every song is great - even the ones I usually don't like: Mexicali, MMU, Me&Bobby Mcgee!

This show makes a good case for 1974 being the best year of Grateful Dead.

Is this the greatest It Must Have Been the Roses? Definitely a top 10, as is the Brokedown Palace.

And for those of you that only care about the sound, it's good.
Reviewer: Stargazin - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 28, 2006
Subject: hot playin
the opening section of this playin may be the hottest i've heard... the boys are clearly super-energized in Donna's absence... Bobby really steps it up, and Billy is on fire. Great great version... the whole show was another solid summer night in 74. The mix is great, although the show sounds slightly sped up from that cassette transfer
Reviewer: Albix714 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2006
Subject: No Donna?
"Donna ain't here, friends, & the boys don't seem to mind too much".

Guys, she's definitely on the recording and this one gets 5 stars from me. Sound quality right off the bat is great and this is a serious Dead show. Word has it that this source might be available for dl somewhere else.
Reviewer: CatFanInTheBathtub - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 5, 2005
Subject: Get It
This show desreves five stars. Great sound quality; all's even across the board. '74 Gold, but...WHERE'S THE EYES ???
Reviewer: itzawlboutjerry - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 14, 2005
Subject: No Donna?
I canÂt believe that no one gave this show 5 stars. This is a Great show. Yea, thereÂs no Donna but thatÂs not why you should download this one. ItÂs a Great show. A great China/ Rider  the way I remember it was played. Jerry is outstanding. Promised Land and Brokedown Palace in the middle of the 2nd set with a great US Blues followed by a nice US Blues Jam. Do youself a favor and download this one . . . and just listen to Jerry play. . . Fantastic!
Reviewer: direwolf2003 - favoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2005
Subject: donna
gotta agree - does sound a tiny bit fast - not much though - might not have noticed too much until you brought it up. Nice to hear no Donna catawalling - good god what did they see in her. When she toned it down, she was ok, even adds to the tune sometimes - but she goes get me some earplugs.
Reviewer: skwimite - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 11, 2005
Subject: No Donna ,Yay!
Thanks for the "heads-up" about this show, and what a sweet one it is. Not a real impressive song list, but don't let that fool you. Just listen to the energy in PITB. In the parts where Donna usually evokes cringes, they're flying along, not a care in the world. A joy to behold. Regardless of your feelings toward DJG, this stuff is hot. I only wish there were more shows of this era without her.
Reviewer: geolectro - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 29, 2005
Subject: Donna Haters
Donna ain't here, friends, & the boys don't seem to mind too much. A somewhat refreshing perspective from this era, eh? It's a good, tight, and unusual show, in an unlikely town, which you should probably check out.
Reviewer: Capt. Cook - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 28, 2005
Subject: Brokedown Palace
I thought at first there were pitch concerns. It all seems so "fast" to me. Brokedown sounds wonderful, Ramble On Rose is great. Mississippi rocks. No space, no long jams. Maybe they were just into the songs that night. Still, I think the master is a tad fast. Anyone else hear that???
Reviewer: Mr. Shizzy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2004
Subject: nice show
night before I was born. like someone said, what's not to like?

no eyes encore though . . .
Reviewer: jnipe - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2004
Subject: Good, workmanlike performance
This was one of the first Dead shows I ever saw. I can't categorize it as a 5* performance, but I find it to be a very well-played show with pretty good singing throughout. Nice 'Playing in the Band', 'ChinaCat', 'Mississippi' and a few others. Unusual show in some regards. Almost like two first sets.
Reviewer: jnipe - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 10, 2004
Subject: Good, workmanlike performance
This was one of the first Dead shows I ever saw. I can't categorize it as a 5* performance, but I find it to be a very well-played show with pretty good singing throughout. Nice 'Playing in the Band', 'ChinaCat', 'Mississippi' and a few others. Unusual show in some regards. Almost like two first sets.
Reviewer: gankmore - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 27, 2004
Subject: What's not to like?
This is a great show, and the recording is just amazing. Worried about that Cassette hit? Don't be. Great stereo seperation, strong vocals, lots of details (symbols, keys, Bobbby's guitar) and a bouncy Phil. Jerry's guitar is lower than some might like (it actually gets PLENTY loud), but it presents a more holistic view of the band. Eyes encore is the cherry on top. This show is a 5, those who think there's far too many 5's given out to 1974 miss the point that this is one of the golden eras of the band from both playing and recording perspectives.
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